Ballmer's big plan for Microsoft Retail Stores shelved

Apple versus PC: Steve Ballmer's plans to open hundreds of Microsoft Retail Stores have been shelved

Despite wanting to take on Apple in the retail space by opening more dedicated Microsoft Stores, CEO Steve Ballmer has reportedly had to put his retail plans on hold for the time being.

Business Insider reports that both Ballmer and Microsoft COO Kevin Turner are keen to open lots more dedicated Microsoft Stores to try to catch-up and overtake Apple – which currently has over 300 Apple Stores worldwide.

Microsoft has only opened eight stores since it first announced its new retail plans back in early 2009 and has recently announced plans for two more stores in Atlanta and Seattle.

Apple owns our malls

We are still to hear more about the company's plans to open a flagship UK store in London with a Microsoft PR rep telling TechRadar that there was "no news on this yet, unfortunately."

Due to the high cost of building flagship retail outlets, sources are claiming that Steve Ballmer has been convinced to shelve his big plan to take on Apple in our malls and on our high streets.For now, at least.

Of course, if Windows Phone 7 starts to overtake iPhone sales by 2015, as some analysts are already predicting, then we may well see a change in Microsoft's retail strategy over the next few years.